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Tuesday, January 12, 1999 Published at 23:08 GMT


Sly sniffy about dog house plans

Stallone: Nobody's fool

By Malcolm Brabant in Miami

Hollywood action man Sylvester Stallone is dismissing suggestions that he is about to sell his waterfront mansion in Miami to a German Shepherd dog called Gunther IV.

Gunther had a look at the Italian-style bay-front property on Monday in the company of a bodyguard called Emilio and then he staged a news conference.

The dog's associates convinced local reporters that he had inherited a fortune from his father, Gunther III, who supposedly gained prominence by barking during performances of the Gunther Group, a team of German disco musicians.

Dog's life

[ image: German Shepherds are known for their intelligence ... but Gunter has a team of lawyers]
German Shepherds are known for their intelligence ... but Gunter has a team of lawyers
Lawyers claiming to represent the dog have shown estate agents that they have got the resources to pay for the house, which is on sale for $27m.

The reporters were told that a German countess, Karlotta Liebenstein, liked Gunther and his music so much that she left him $65m when she died in 1992.

Gunther's associates claimed the band wanted to buy Stallone's house because they were thinking of re-forming in Miami.

Some of Stallone's neighbours rather fancy the idea: they don't want the mansion sold to a company which wants to transform it into a luxury hotel, but which has so far placed the only other offer on the property.

Barking mad

Wimbish Riteway Realty, the estate agent selling the property, says that Gunther's financial pedigree appears to be in order.

Staff are not too sure however whether they're the victims of an elaborate practical joke. They are waiting to see whether the Alsatian's guardians make a formal bid.

But Paul Bloch, Stallone's Los Angeles agent, has clearly made up his mind. A woman in his office barked: "It's totally false!" and slammed the phone down.

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